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Assignment - Selecting Software for a Computer

Page history last edited by Steve Sweeney 10 years, 10 months ago

In this assignment, you will meet two students who are planning to purchase new computer systems.

It is your job to act as their technical advisor and help them to decide what software they should obtain that will satisfy their computing needs.


Although each student seems to have a computer already, you should assume they have no software on their computer other than what comes provided with a new computer (which you should have already selected as part of the hardware assignment).


Watch or listen to video interviews with two students. You will meet Adam and Brittany and hear how they use computers in their daily lives.  Read the transcript of the interviews with these two students.


Types of Software to Consider:

  1. Application Software


    This type of software is often thought of as "work" software, or productivity software.  Whether you are a student or have a job, there will be times when you have to do work to produce some type of report or project.  Examples of productivity software would include word processing, creating presentations, and photo/video editing.


    Other applications include communicaton and entertainment (in some software these are combined).  Communication using the computer involves some combination of text, audio, and video shared between computers.  Entertainment is generally considered to be computer games.

  2. System or Utility Software


    This type of software is not used frequently by the user, although it may be active when the computer is running.  Most people are familiar with anti-virus software, which generally runs continuously in the background, even though the user rarely interacts with it.  There are other utilities available to protect your computer and keep it running without errors.



  3.  Programming Software


    There is also a special type of software specifically designed to let programmers create new software.  These software packages are most often Integrated Development Envrionments (IDEs), which means they have all of the necessary components for programming (i.e., the programmer can only has to work with the single program).  In the early days of programming, programmers were required to use several pieces of software (and sometimes hardware) to create, load, and run their programs.


For each of your "clients", Adam and Brittany, you will try to determine their needs and choose appropriate software for them.  Remember to pick software the will run on their computer (hardware and operating system).


Your report for each user should include:

  • the name of the software
  • the type of software (application, system, or programming)
  • the primary use(s) of the software
  • the cost of the software, including a total cost for all software you have selected
  • a reputable and legal location to buy or download the software




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